Blighted Detroit homes turned into political statements
Who's behind the signs and why were they put up? FOX 2 went to the street to knock on some doors. We didn't have any luck.
We did have luck, however, using Google Maps.
The home in the center is 5278 Radnor, according to Google Street View. The homes to the left and right of them are not identifiable by number on any of the Google Maps images taken in 2008, 2009, 2011, or 2013.
House on the left
The house on the left appears to have had someone living in it as recently as 2011. Based on the pictures taken by Google, the house was seemingly well taken care in 2008, 2009, and 2011. In 2013, however, the house was boarded up in places but still retained some windows.
In photos FOX 2 shot on Tuesday, the home is a shell of what it once was. The front has been covered in a large white sign with 1 Corinthians 7:23 on it: "you were bought at a price do not become slaves of men".
It also has part of Article 1, Section 10 of the U.S. Constitution: "...no state shall make anything but gold and silver tender in payment of debts..." as well as 'metal is money' and 'paper is debt notes' on the lower corners.
The home seems to have been burned as evidenced by the charred roof and the melted siding on the 5278 home.
This home remains the least changed in the 7 years of available images. In 2008, there were shrubs and flowers out in front of the house, a recently planted tree, and red shutters on the lower windows. The next year, in August, it shows several bushes have been removed and slight overgrowth in the front lawn, but the house itself was still being cared for.
In 2011, the home's front siding had been removed, yet the yard was manicured and cared for. By 2013, siding was back on the home but the shutters were long gone. It appears a new skylight had been installed on the roof right above one that had been installed, though it may also be a solar panel. There's also a car parked in the front yard, just to the left of the driveway.
Tuesday's photos show what appears to be another solar panel on the south side of the roof. In the half-circle window above the door, what appears to be a dummy is in the window wearing a Guy Fawkes mask from the movie & graphic novel "V for Vendetta". The character, 'V', is an anarchist, vigilante, and freedom fighter.
Under the dummy are two statements: "All rights reserved under protest UCC 1-308" and "Government: Obey the Constitution". In the front yard of the home is another sign that reads "Don't blame me I voted for Ron Paul".
House on the right
This home appears to have gone through the most changes since 2008. In October of that year, the home had pumpkins out front, leaves in the front yard, and flowers in the window that withered from the colder weather. By August of the next year, those flowers were back in bloom. The yard had some bare spots but it was seemingly cared for.
By 2011, the window flowers are gone and all that remains are baskets to hold them. There's a trash can that looks to be full and a stroller parked next to the front door. However, there are no cars parked in the driveway or on the street.
Two years later, the home is gutted. It seems fire has gutted the house and you can see straight through the front window and into the backyard. The home is abandoned and empty.
When our crew showed up on Tuesday, this home had writing across the front of it with a quote attributed to JFK. There's also prompting to visit the website lawfulpath.com and read the article titled "Silent Weapons for Quiet Wars". According to the website, the article was found in an IBM copier that was purchased at a surplus sale and claims to mark the end of WWIII which is a war it says used biological warfare, fought with "silent weapons."
The home also has a sign nailed to a tree reading "Pirates attacking vessels under 'color of law'" and a sign above that one reading "warning fascism" with a drawing of a stickman hitting another stickman with a bat.
Blighted buildings that have messages in Detroit are nothing new. Along I75 there's a water tower that reads "FREE THE WATER" and in Downtown Detroit, if you look north, you'll see the word "ZOMBIELAND" painted on top of a building on Park Ave. These are just two of the more famous ones; it doesn't take much to find others.
So what's the deal with these? We don't know. We're still trying to find out. When we learn anything new, we'll update this page.